Kendra Scott’s WEL Institute highlights the Featured Female Founders from from 2020. These are the eight ventures recognized.

Sponsored by the Kendra Scott WEL Institute.

The year 2020, among other things, was the year of the woman entrepreneur. As part of its programming, the Kendra Scott Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (WEL) Institute selected eight young businesswomen who’ve set an example of the true entrepreneurial spirit.

The following eight young women are a representation of the future of entrepreneurship.

2020 Featured Female Founders

Big & Mini

Founder: Aditi Merchant ‘23

Big & Mini is a platform that virtually creates meaningful, mutually beneficial intergenerational connections that allow users to share stories and combat loneliness. Through an innovative matching system that pairs people up based on mutual interests, we bring seniors and young adults together to learn and develop friendships that last a lifetime.


Founder: Caroline Onwuzu

Glossydaze cosmetics aims to provide high-quality, moisturizing and high-shine handmade lip gloss. We want to share an amazing experience of cosmetics to others. Our primary goal is to have high-quality cosmetics at reasonable prices. We are very passionate about our company and hope that it will go extremely far and that every customer enjoys their beauty experience!

Pocket Punch

Founder: Danna Tao, Margaret McCallum, Ashley Raymond and Sydney Marvin

Pocket Punch is a first of its kind five-in-one, self-defense device. It includes knuckles, pepper spray, a flashlight, an auditory alarm and a safety point. We created something that we would actually want to carry. Our mission stayed the same: to empower individuals by providing them with the necessary tools to protect themselves in any given situation.


Founder: Ariel Lee & D’azhane Cook

When Lee and Cook began their natural hair journeys it was like opening floodgates. They were bombarded with 100s of products and video. It felt impossible to understand what information was for them. After meeting in a product management program at UT-Austin, the two founders aligned and created Remane, an early-stage venture that uses machine learning to create personalized hair care regimens for men and women with kinky and curly hair types.

Stories of Austin

Founder: Niti Malwade, Rashu Jain

Stories of Austin is a storytelling platform on Instagram and Facebook. It shares the journeys of small business owners and entrepreneurs in Austin. We believe people best make connections when they can empathize and relate with one another. There’s no better way to do that than through storytelling.

Sweat x Serve

Founder: Ingrid Villarreal, Becca Friday, and Isabella Villarreal

Sweat X Serve is a group-fitness platform that offers live virtual exercise classes taught by certified instructors. Our program offers a variety of class types, including Yoga Sculpt, Barre and Pilates. While we continue to teach weekly classes, our program is not singularly limited to us teaching. Our main component is our ability to connect our instructors with participants, all to raise funds for COVID-19 relief. We have partnered with many corporations to host private classes. These classes have allowed friends and colleagues to virtually reunite.

Thousand Thread

Founder: Amie Nguyen and Evie Shaw

Thousand Thread is a peer-to-peer clothing rental dedicated to promoting sustainable fashion. Founders Amie Nyguen and Evie Shaw set out to solve the problem of finding something to wear for events that many college students faced. With the help of friends and UT entrepreneurial resources, these two women can see their business come to fruition.

About Kendra Scott WEL Institute

The Kendra Scott Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute (WEL Institute) at The University of Texas at Austin aims to strengthen the next generation of courageous, creative female leaders. Leaders who will change the world—in business and beyond. Our goal is to redefine leadership and entrepreneurship. Through an environment of community, diversity, inclusivity and empowerment, we will grow the number of women-owned and women-led businesses.

About Featured Female Founders

The WEL Institute selects Featured Female Founders through an application process. They then feature on the Institute’s website. Featured Female Founders also receive amplification from the KS WEL Institute platform for a designated month. They record a TEDxUT Austin-style video about the journey as a female entrepreneur. Receive a feature on the Stories of Austin page, potential seed funding, mentorship with community partners BEAM and DWEN and much more!


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